THE municipality has up-scaled its investigation into the elusive beachfront pollution problem. The news from beach manager Fernando Cain follows on sightings starting last month of a strange milky plume of pollution that has been appearing between Hobie and Humewood beaches.
Cain said on Monday his team had taken seawater samples in the area the previous Friday and that they had presented with unacceptably high levels of e-coli and streptococci. Both usually indicate sewage, and one possibility that is being investigated is a recent sewage overflow reported in the area of the Hobie Beach toilets.
“But we are also looking at the Boardwalk/ KFC complex where it appears that they have been spraying out their waste holding areas in the alley behind the complex, which they should not be doing.”
Meanwhile, the construction work at the Boardwalk where an extension to the casino is being built together with a five-star hotel, convention centre and underground garages has been brought to a half.
The halt was called by the construction company to allow them to see if they are contributing to the pollution in any way, Cain said.
The Boardwalk site was fingered as an early suspect for the pollution after news that they had pierced underground water and this water mixed with clay sediment was flowing into the stormwater drain.
Excavated rock is also being transported by truck from the site to Driftsands where it is being stockpiled for future use on roads and the thinking was that part of the pollution could be occuring as the clay dust from these trucks, blown onto the road, is flushed by rain out the stormwater drain.
Boardwalk environmental manager Brian Wilkinson said he and the construction team were working hard to ensure no problems were being caused.
Cain said further water samples were being taken at each of these entrance points and the results should be known later in the week.
In the meanwhile, the good news is that it is not unsafe for bathers at either Hobie or Humewood, he said.
“The current goes pretty much straight out to sea at this point. Nevertheless, we are monitoring the situation carefully.”